How to get your Charleston Chi Back After The Holidays and Snowstorm.

Renae Brabham

Now, I’m one of the biggest Lowcountry Christmas fans in these parts. I’m decking the halls the minute the turkey carcass hit’s the skids. My tree is usually up on Thanksgiving night or at least wrestled out of the closet. I’m digging out my Elvis Christmas CD and walking around with specks of glitter for the next 6 weeks. But by January 3rd I’m over it.  I don’t think I’m the lone reindeer here. So I thought I would share my holiday de-stressing tips with you. 


Now if you don't think of your annual vacation the week after Christmas, then you didn't celebrate it right. But hold on to those miles, stick your chewing gum over that enter button on the Travelocity page if you have to. You don't need a banquet laden cruise, you just need a sick day, one little ole sick day and here’s how it goes; Open your freezer and start pulling. No you are not going to use those giblets or that duck fat. Save them you say? For what? They’re going to be a frozen mystery baggy in 4 weeks. Jesus, just let it go. 

Okay, now look at that pile on the table and start yanking. Put your yard slickers and go to the shed, get a shovel and go bury those God awful fruit cakes in the yard. Now go back inside and open a window, no it's not freezing outside, you are in Charleston. Gather up the half dozen half eaten jars of mixed nuts and toss them to the birds and squirrels. Let’s go back to that table again. Those Hillshire sausage rolls, they make great window and door draft stoppers. 
On to the refrigerator, open it up. The door just about fell off didn't it?  That's because it's weighed down with a plethora of partial jars of condiments. (One of my New Year’s resolutions is to find another word for plethora) I’m at least aware of the fact that I have overused it and that is the first step to recovery. Okay, back to the condiments — tell yourself,  "I don't want another clove poked, pineapple laden, whiskey dripped, fudge topped, nothing." and toss them all. There, don't you feel lighter already? I do, I just want a piece of plain old avocado toast
Okay scan the room. A bowl full of corks, seriously how many corks do you need for crafts? Toss them, I promise you will have enough for next year if you start in June. 
Well, that was a good start wasn’t it? Don’t we feel 10 pounds lighter? Now go fill your diffuser with ANY essential oil that doesn’t smell like pine, apples or cinnamon and grab your car key's. Let's go to our Carolina de-stressing zone.
 I don't think I've ever been so glad to be alone in Charleston traffic with the radio jamming. I can finally hit the scan button on the radio without landing on Christmas music, at least until next October. Yep, it’s just me and Box and Jessie B jamming down I-526 playing a mean ass drum solo to AC/DC, “You shook me all night long.” 
So where are we headed? Far away from Santa Claus lane. Any place that we don't see red, green, silver, twinkling and blinking lights or glitter is a good start. 
For me, it's usually a brisk walk alongside a pounding surf. We are so fortunate, we have so many places to choose from! Botany Bay, Morris Island lighthouse, Station 23 Sullivan's Island, or a jaunt through Old Village and then to the end of Pitt Bridge.
The surf and the gulls bear no resemblance to a partridge in a pear tree.  I’m one of those weirdo’s that think’s plough mud smells good and a walk near the beach always leave’s me hungry!! Fish sounds good for dinner, think I’ll pop into the Teeter. Oh look, they’ve clearanced the Christmas foil wrapped Hershey’s kisses! I'll just eat the green ones and save the red and silver for Valentines. I assuage my chocolate guilt by buying a bottle of Chardonnay (without a cork.) 
Most of my favorite places to rejuvenate are located on the fringe of several lowcountry communities. These are just quiet enough for me to pound out the reverberating beat of Mannheim Steamroller and strains of badly sung Auld Lang Syne’s and — reflect on the Peace, Love and Joy we wished each other over the past month’s. Happy New Season’s! 
Caw Caw Interpretive Center 
Mepkin Abbey (check out their option for spiritual retreat.)
Charles Pinckney Historic Park
Donnelly Wildlife Mgmt Area
Audubon Swamp Garden
Botany Bay 
Pitt Street Bridge
Morris Island lighthouse road
Station #18, Sullivan’s Island